School Theme in PreK Crafts
Since it is the beginning of the year, school theme crafts are simple and go along with books being read this week. The school shoes craft above is great for practicing using glue sticks, assessing whether students have ever used stickers, and noticing if students recognize right side up for words. We make this craft after reading a couple Pete the Cat books about shoes. I make sure I wear my shoes with laces so that students can see an example of holes for laces before they put the stickers on their shoes. Please check out this blog where I originally found the idea for this craft.
The other main craft for this week is the ever popular Chicka Chicka Boom Boom class book. You can see an example of our book on this post. We add photos of the students to each page and read this book all year in our class library as well as at circle time.
Below are links to the books used with these crafts, along with some of the supplies. These are affiliate links; you are free to purchase your items locally as well. I watch my local craft stores for clearance and bought two or three bags of green feathers so I am stocked for a few years worth of Chicka Chicka crafts.
School Theme Sensory Bin with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
For this bin I dye rice green. I create a tree with leaves from the local dollar store or craft store. The trunk is two metal cans with wood grain contact paper wrapped around. A can lid from a chip can is used to help secure the leaves to the tree. Check out PreKinders for a great explanation of how to make the tree. I add magnetic alphabet letters, along with non-magnetic letters to the bin. There is also a class list next to the bin so students can build names on the tree.
School Theme in PreK Easel Work
One idea that I rotate through on my easel is making a sticky board with clear contact paper. For this side of the board I have some pattern block pages that go with our letter focus for the week. I cover them with sticky side out clear contact paper. The pattern blocks I use with the easel are the foam ones that are light weight. I put out the exact amount needed to complete the pages, which makes it easier for students and easier for me to know that I found all the pieces when it is clean up time. Pattern blocks printables are found here and here.
Supplies needed (affiliate links):
The other side of the easel is a set of Pete the Cat story retelling pieces. These are printed, cut out and laminated with magnets added on the back. If you have a felt board you can also add velcro to the back for another retelling surface.
School Theme with Hole Punch and Lacing Shoes
I found another new hole punch that is easy for students to use to add to my collection over the summer. This center includes simple hole punching as well as punching for a purpose with finding all the letter Ts, which is our letter focus of the week. The simple punch strips can be found at ChildCareLand. There are several places to find punching activities for letters. The one in this post can be found here. Here is another option found online that is being offered as a free download.
Since we are focusing a bit on school shoes there is a center to lace shoes. The creator of these uses real laces in her example, which would be fun as well. I utilize gimp since I have that available in our craft closet.
Helpful supplies for these centers:
Letter T Activities
Our classroom has a letter focus each week, with a spiral review every four or five weeks. Letter T is not the only letter we discuss this week since we are also doing several activities related to names that involve many letters. For our writing practice center one option is tracing letter T and writing letter T words. The letter T words cards are found in my Alphabet Words Letter Tile Cards, which can be used with letter tiles as well as dry erase. The letter T pictures I have displayed in my circle time area are from the alphabet book set in my Alphabet Bundle, which also includes the letter tile cards.
School Theme Library
Each week I leave some of the books from the prior week’s theme in the library and add ones for the new theme. This way students get to take extra time with books that I read aloud during the week. Above you can see there are still Bear theme books, as well as added School theme books to read.
Books I share during this week include:
School Theme Name Practice
The beginning of the year includes lots of ways of practicing names. We continue building our names with the Jumbo Blocks, which are also in my Alphabet Bundle. I also add our name cards to the writing center. These have the student’s photo on the right side, with the name printed in cubes across the top. The same number of cubes are below the letters so the students can practice writing their own name or that of a fellow classmate. We will use these all year long.
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Centers
Along with each letter focus I focus on a rhyme of the week. For letter T we use Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. During the week students read a book that they will take home, we sing the song at circle following the pocket chart, and we have a few centers related to the poem. This week there is a dot marker activity to find the letter on the bed in the stars and a building activity to build a star, the world, and a window. You can find these activities in my Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Nursery Rhyme Unit.
Next Weeks Theme
Planning for a Family and Homes theme next with Letter F and Little Miss Muffet focus. What themes are you planning next?